by Quinn Nurmeste
The last day of the Formula Hybrid competition began in the same way as the previous three days — cloudy, cold, and with the spirit of competition hanging thick in the air. The University of Victoria’s Formula Hybrid Team rose early to get their hybrid vehicle fueled and ready to go for the highly anticipated endurance race. The endurance race — a course of 44 laps on a one-kilometer track — is the most challenging and grueling part of the entire Formula Hybrid competition, and so the team prepared the vehicle in hopes of lasting as long as they could on the track. By 9 AM, the vehicle was fueled and ready to go, with the team standing anxiously along the track’s wall.
Upon takeoff, the vehicle, with Oliver Blow driving, sounded sublime as it made its way up the first hill. We all counted the laps, willing the car onward. However, in the middle of the ninth lap, Oliver abruptly pulled off course, and that was it. Deflated, the team waited for track officials to designate it safe to recover their vehicle, which made its way back down to the paddock so that we could begin our diagnosis of the issue which retired us from the race. Unfortunately, the issue could not be identified in the available time, but the team now believes it to be electrically related and will resolve it once the vehicle returns home to Victoria. The team was still fairly confident that we could win the competition — our closest competitor, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), trailed behind us by 200 points or so before the race — but still, it would have been nice to have been able to let the vehicle demonstrate its incredible capabilities on the course. After the endurance race, it was just a waiting game, as the awards ceremony wouldn’t begin for another five hours, and MSOE still hadn’t taken their vehicle onto the track.
When the UVic Hybrid Team arrived at for the final awards ceremony, anticipation was high, but there was also a sense of relief; we had done our very best and had succeeded in making our hybrid vehicle a dominant competitor in this year’s competition. As it turned out, our hard work had indeed paid off: the UVic Hybrid Team not only placed first in the hybrid category, but also won three other significant design awards. Most impressively, the team won a perfect score of 200 points in the prestigious design review event. By the end of the awards ceremony, all of the anxiety the team had felt was displaced by our only remaining state — exhaustion, and we were all laughing: it was over! We did it! We won! The rest of the evening was spent cleaning up our paddock and ended with a celebration of our year’s efforts.
We would like to thank everyone for all of the support that they gave us throughout the year. We would especially like to thank everyone at Prototype Equipment Design, the UVic Faculty of Engineering, Neptune Terminals, Clippard, Praxair, Action Motorsports, Rekluse, Solidworks, and Altium. Certainly, without the confidence you had in us, we could not have succeeded as we did in this year’s Formula Hybrid competition. Congratulations to all of the other teams for producing such excellent competition, and for keeping the competition friendly. Make sure to keep checking back — even though competition is over, there will be updates on what’s coming next for the University of Victoria’s Formula Hybrid Team soon.